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Birth Of Tragedy - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Birth Of TragedyBirth Of Tragedy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

830 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 830
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 892
Gots: 175 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Imperial porter brewed with coffee and honey and aged in bourbon barrels.

2011 vintage - 11% ABV

(Beer added by: s1ckboy on 11-20-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 830 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wesley14


4.75/5  rDev +7%

03-27-2012 22:19:53 | More by wesley14
Photo of scottfrie


3.85/5  rDev -13.3%

500ml bottle into Block 15 snifter. Thank you for giving me this, Michael.

A: Well, there’s no head. I get a few bubbles, but even those quickly disappeared. The color is a deep dark woody/raisin brown.
S: The nose makes up for this beer’s meager looks. The coffee really shines through and mixed well with spicy scents of bourbon and oak. The coffee is fresh and roasted smelling unlike some stouts that smell like burnt coffee ground. I detect some sweet vanilla as well.
T: Follows the nose with rich notes of roasted coffee and dark roasted malts, vanilla and moderate bourbon. Flavors are smooth and syrupy. Finish is full of dark chocolate, and the aftertaste and a few notes of roasted coconut and caramel.
M: Flat as hell but the thick body helps it out. Man this is flat. The mouthfeel is very slick and greasy, so at least the beer isn’t watery.
O: This beer would kill if it had a few bubbles. Flavors were rich and well integrated. A roasted bal-aged porter all around. The flatness saddens me, and I knocked the score because of it. Thanks again, SneezyAchew.

03-27-2012 00:45:15 | More by scottfrie
Photo of JoshVandy


4.65/5  rDev +4.7%

Reviewed from notes:

HUGE shout out to Patrickbrusil for hooking me up with a few of these. He's the man.

500mL bottle into a Hill Farmstead wine glass. Shared with Emmaus217 on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2011.

A- Pours a deep black, mahogany color with a very little dark brown head. Thick and oily. No lacing, only sticky oil residue on the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet chocolate, roasted malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark fruits. It's all here. Very nice.

T- Fantastic chocolate and bourbon flavors, followed by some oak and vanilla. Nice full roasted malt character in there as well. A slight warming from the alcohol is the only trace of it. Just flat-out fantastic.

M- Silky smooth, not too thick, but not too thin either. No heat to speak of. Seriously, this is levels above any other fresh bal-beer I've had in a long time. Absolutely mind-blowing.

O- Yep. Easily my favorite porter of all time, although it walks a fine line between a porter and a stout. One of the best of last year. Period.

03-20-2012 05:26:37 | More by JoshVandy
Photo of fehrminator

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

03-18-2012 03:48:56 | More by fehrminator
Photo of bhollas


5/5  rDev +12.6%

03-15-2012 21:09:39 | More by bhollas
Photo of MADhombrewer


4.33/5  rDev -2.5%

Thanks ramnuts

Appearance- Black body with a tan head. Slight lacing.

Smell- Vanilla is first rounded out by dark chocolate

Taste- The Alcohol is a big part. It move right up to your sinuses. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, and bits of vanilla.

Mouthfeel- Nice and thick. Just the way I like it.

Overall - Good beer. I would drink this more often if it was readily available to me, alas it is not. Didn't realize till just now that this is classified as a porter. That seems to make it more interesting for some reason.

03-08-2012 18:24:47 | More by MADhombrewer
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.38/5  rDev -1.4%

Thanks to BrianTheBrewer30 for sharing this one while waiting in line for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. No lacing on this one. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, wood, and bourbon. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, vanilla, bourbon, and a woody flavor on the aftertaste. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a medium body. Overall, this is a very good barrel aged porter that is quite tasty and drinkable.

03-05-2012 21:39:35 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of TheSamsquanch

New York

5/5  rDev +12.6%

03-04-2012 23:31:51 | More by TheSamsquanch
Photo of bobv


4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

03-01-2012 06:17:20 | More by bobv
Photo of Gfunk720


4.55/5  rDev +2.5%

Thanks to Tucker for this bottle. Out of my HFS stemware.

A- Pitch black and oily, basically no head. No lacing, just an oily slick that lightly coats the glass.

S- Dark fruit and booze primarily, with a touch of oaky/smoke. Some chocolate and vanilla smells as well, and hints of coffee.

T-Amazing blend of vanilla. chocolate, and bourbony oak. It's sweet, but extremely smooth and malty. A nice roasted malt aftertaste, with touches of honey and coffee.

M- Aside from being pretty much flat, the mouth feel is quite good. Probably the only real negative about this beer.

O- Overall this was great, very complex while not being too boozy. Could have used some carbonation, but was a treat none the less. Will have to try it in another year and see how it holds up.


02-20-2012 00:57:02 | More by Gfunk720
Photo of LambicKing


4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

02-20-2012 00:22:58 | More by LambicKing
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -9.9%

02-19-2012 15:34:00 | More by djrn2
Photo of bsuedekum


4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

02-18-2012 05:13:25 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of AutumnBeerLove


4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

02-16-2012 04:28:09 | More by AutumnBeerLove
Photo of rbrefbeerman


4.75/5  rDev +7%

02-14-2012 01:42:41 | More by rbrefbeerman
Photo of sliverX

S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

02-13-2012 07:26:53 | More by sliverX
Photo of jburchett


4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

02-11-2012 21:22:37 | More by jburchett
Photo of oline73


4/5  rDev -9.9%

I was able to try this during Night of the Barrels and during the EBF.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a layer of tan head that fades quickly to a ring around the cup.

Smell: This one has more roast than I expected. I'm picking up some bourbon, chocolate, and alcohol heat as well.

Taste: As in the smell, quite roasty. I'm picking up the wood from the barrel and a mild peppery flavor. Sweet, but the bitterness from the roast is the dominant flavor. Would have liked it to be a tad smoother.

Mouthfeel: Just on the thick side of medium with a tingle of carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I would have liked this beer to be a tad thicker. I enjoyed the flavors that the wood added. I would have another.

02-10-2012 22:00:20 | More by oline73
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

From 02/03/12

a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of dark tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, sweet milk chocolate, coffee, vanilla, bourbon, sweet dark fruits, oak, and toasted malts. Very chocolatey and sweet, and the bourbon comex through nicely, but doesn't overpower. Really awesome nose.

t - Tastes of sweet chocolate, roasted malts, bourbon, coffee, oak, vanilla, and dark chocolate. A tiny bit hot, and a step down from the nose, but still pretty nice.

m - Medium to full body and low to moderate carbonation. A tiny bit hot but not bad at all. Smooth and creamy.

o - Overall a really nice porter. I think I pretty much liked this just as much as Everett, but for different reasons, as this one focuses more on bourbon. Would like to get a bottle of this.

02-10-2012 02:30:18 | More by mdfb79
Photo of BeerThursdays


4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

02-10-2012 00:10:04 | More by BeerThursdays
Photo of brystmar


4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

02-08-2012 19:47:35 | More by brystmar
Photo of Auror


4.75/5  rDev +7%

02-08-2012 15:19:01 | More by Auror
Photo of Jeffo


4.47/5  rDev +0.7%

Have heard lots of good things about this beer, so stoked to get a chance to try it. This one came in a recent trade with jbeatty. Thanks again man. All these HF brews were top class!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter
Brewed with coffee and honey and aged in bourbon barrels.

APPEARANCE: Dark brown pour, somewhat transparent, yields a small, medium looking, light tan head with decent retention. Fades to a light wisp and ring with some bubbles on top. Black body, opaque, with lower levels of carbonation evident. A ring and splotchy wisp remain until the end and leave some dots of lacing down the glass. Pretty solid looking.

SMELL: Big nose right off the pour. Roasted malts and burnt coffee beans for sure, with some light honey and a good dose of bourbon, oak and vanilla from the barrels. A light touch of pure, dark chocolate and molasses are detectible as well. Bold and impressive stuff, and everything balances wonderfully.

TASTE: Some bourbon barrel up front initially with some touches of sweet honey and caramel. More of the base beer comes through at the swallow, but it is still much more bourbon barrel forward than the nose had indicated. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and some sweet honey at the finish, with notes of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate as well. The barrel dominant aftertaste is big and persistent, with just a touch of sweet honey and caramel and chocolate notes trying to push through. This is flavorful and delicious, but not quite as well balanced as the nose. Still, an absolutely decadent treat.

PALATE: Medium full body with medium levels of carbonation. Slightly creamy, though a bit prickly on the palate, goes down fine and finishes mouth-coating. A slight burn and some heat lingers after the swallow. Pretty decent feel, though a touch hot still maybe.

OVERALL: This was a really tasty treat. The nose on this thing is out of this world, with plenty of bold aromas and a fantastic balance between the base beer and adjuncts on the one hand, and the barrel on the other. The taste is also fantastic, but the barrel pushes the balance just a touch off center. In the end, this is a phenomenal brew and is another chapter in the brilliant imperial porters that Hill Farmstead seems to be brewing up. I would more than love to have this again at some point. Thanks again jbeatty. Whole-heartedly recommended.

02-07-2012 20:56:58 | More by Jeffo
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

4.75/5  rDev +7%

02-07-2012 14:23:37 | More by nmann08
Photo of xnicknj


4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

02-07-2012 02:43:30 | More by xnicknj
Birth Of Tragedy from Hill Farmstead Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 830 ratings.